As part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s measures to reduce the current rising incidence or transmission of coronavirus the Minister of Education announced a phased return of pupils to school. Special schools will open as normal and vulnerable children and pupils of key workers will have access to schools for supervised learning.
Notice No. 29 makes modifications to Article 58(1)(a) and (5)(a) of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986. The modifications are necessary to enable the EA and individual voluntary grammar (VG) and grant-maintained integrated (GMI) schools to provide food parcels for collection/delivery to pupils entitled to free school meals (FSM) at mainstream schools who are required to attend school but who are unable to attend school due to Covid-19 and wish such provision.
The Notice applies to those children who are-
(a) diagnosed with a medical condition or illness (or in extreme circumstances their parent has a significant underlying medical condition) and who-
(i) despite their absence from school, are registered by the school as being in attendance on the basis of medical advice that owing to their medical condition or illness (or in extreme circumstances their parent’s significant underlying medical condition), it is medically unsafe to be in attendance at school;
(ii) can demonstrate evidence that they are being educated, or otherwise engaging in learning, whilst not in attendance at school;
(b) self-isolating as a consequence of their own positive test for coronavirus disease;
(c) self-isolating as a consequence of a positive test for coronavirus disease of a member of their household and who are engaging in distance learning; and
(d) required by the school, on the advice of the Public Health Agency, not to attend school and who are engaging in distance learning.
Under paragraph 17 of Schedule 17 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 the Department is required to publish the notice and to take steps as the Department considers reasonable to bring the notice to the attention of those likely to be affected by it.